Noank Harbor has a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. Temperatures range from an average high of over 21°C (70°F) in July to an average low of just under -1°C (30°F) in January.
The Noank Harbor Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Noank village is surrounded by water on three sides, giving it an isolated feeling. It is filled with winding narrow streets with small courts and lanes that lead to houses built in the middle of blocks. While most of the buildings are residences, there are several businesses at the Pearl and Main Street intersection. Two of those 19th-Century businesses, the Fitch Store and Palmer's Store, are still in use. There are two Noank Harbor marinas and a yacht club within the historic district. The railroad depot, built in 1858, is no longer in service as a station but is an office today. The 1868 Morgan Point Lighthouse, a granite structure with an octagonal tower at the tip of the peninsula, is a residence today.
About a dozen houses constructed before 1840 remain in the Noank Harbor historic district. The oldest and best-preserved is the Peletiah Fitch House at 12 Bayside Avenue. Nearly all the 200 Noank Harbor historic houses were built between 1840 and 1860, most of them in the Greek Revival, Gothic, or Eastlake styles.
Noank Harbor is distinguished by its small area that contains a wide range of architectural styles and ornaments common to the 19th Century. Many of those residents were involved in fishing, and carpenters from the shipyards influenced the design and ornamentation of the houses. Reminders of the town's earlier life as a small fishing village and shipbuilding center include the wreck of the Alice Pendleton, the four church buildings, the railroad depot, and the stores with theatrical or meeting halls in the upper floors. The old commercial district has been replaced by modern buildings, making the historic district a residential treasure.
One of the most well-known residents of early Noank Harbor was Hubbard Chester, who was important in the 1872-73 Polaris Arctic rescue mission. His boat is now housed at the Smithsonian Institution. He also patented a folding anchor for naval use. His house is at 25 Main Street.